SEOUL—North Korea said on Tuesday it had completed reprocessing spent fuel rods at its Yongbyon nuclear plant and weaponised plutonium from the material, giving it more material to produce atomic arms.
The announcement comes as the reclusive state, hit with fresh U.N. sanctions to punish it for a nuclear test in May, has warmed up to the outside world in recent months and indicated it could return to stalled international nuclear talks.
"We have finished reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods as of August. We have made substantial achievements in weaponising plutonium from the extraction," KCNA said.
Experts said the North might be able to produce enough material for one more atomic weapon from the fuel rods cooling at its Soviet-era Yongbyon plant, which was being taken apart under a sputtering disarmament-for-aid deal.
Experts said the North already had enough fissile material for about six to eight nuclear weapons.